TTW Grant Winner: Teen Tech Week Creating Labs

For 2016 Teen Tech Week the Spring Valley Branch will be offering a daily afterschool project for pre-teens. Inspiration came to us from our previous experience with conducting MAKER Camp activities during summer.  We allocated our grant funds for the purchase of various MAKER kits to supplement our current educational resources.

Each project will have a hands-on activity and a 21st century digital skills component. Pre-teens will have time for self-discovery and will also practice digital literacy competencies needed to participate and collaborate. They will post their observations through an online journal. The concepts to be explored will include music, gaming, mini-robotics, alternative energy, 3D printing, and binary time.

The first project will consist of using a Musixel kit to learn about frequency and volume in music. Every day after school pre-teens visit the library to use the Wi-Fi and public computers to browse social media sites. Incorporating music to the activities just seemed like a natural course of action. This will also be an opportunity to recruit our student workers to lead the project.

The second project will involve the use of Makey Makey kits and snap circuit kits to learn about conductivity, circuits, and the basics of gaming. Library laptops and iPads will be made available to connect the Makey Makey kits to allow for play and exploration. To enhance the experience participants will try their hands at mini robotics by creating their own BrushBot. The daily activity will culminate with a BrushBot race. Student volunteers will be recruited to monitor each station.

The third project will touch on the basics of alternative energy sources. Each group will use kits to build a working wind turbine or a solar powered marble machine. An invitation will be extended to college faculty from the engineering department to be a guest speaker for this project.

The fourth project will give pre-teens the chance to experience using handheld 3D printing pens. Each group will have 15 minutes to develop an idea and 15-30 minutes to materialize their concept. The last project will delve into expressing time in binary format. Pre-teens will work in groups to complete an RGB Bamboo Binary Clock Kit.

The success of each project will be measured by feedback shared on the online journal and participation statistics. Additionally, we will provide participants with a survey so we can receive feedback that will guide future programming.

The Spring Valley Branch is part of the San Diego County Library system and is located in the Southeast region. The Spring Valley Branch serves a diverse low-income population and act as a safe space for kids and teens after school. We are also one of the branches with the highest afterschool programming offered within our system. Ariadna Jimenez-Barrios is the Youth Services Librarian for the Spring Valley Branch


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